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Auburn Assistant Coaches Contracts:Quotes


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Inside the numbers: Looking at Auburn's new football assistant contracts

zac-etheridge-auburn-football Auburn assistant coach Zac Etheridge (Photo by Justin Hokanson/Auburn Live)

AUBURN – Auburn football released contract numbers for new assistant coaches this week. Let’s dive into the numbers as Bryan Harsin and Co. try and get the Tigers’ program back on the right track.

These numbers are thanks to Auburn’s response to a FOIA request issued by AL.com.

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Zac Etheridge

Defensive backs coach and new associate head coach Etheridge signed a new two-year contract worth $600,000 for the 2022 season. His salary goes up to $650,000 in 2024. The former Houston assistant made $315,000 when he first joined the staff as corners coach and recruiting coordinator.

Etheridge on staying at Auburn: It’s family. The one thing we understand is that this place, I’ve done great things here, but the guys in the room, I’m always honest with them. I believe in Coach Harsin’s vision and what he brings to the team, and what he stands for. He cares about people, he cares about making sure we develop our players bigger than football. That’s the standard, and that was part of the decision to stay. You’re going to work every day with people that you know have your best interests at heart, and what you love which is Auburn football. It’s all about the family and I wanted to make sure that with these guys, I stood on my word.

ike-hilliard-auburn-football-Brown Ike Hilliard (Photo by AU Athletics)

Ike Hilliard

New wide receivers coach Hilliard got a two-year deal worth $600k annually through Jan. 31, 2024.

Hilliard played receiver in the NFL for over a decade after playing at Florida in college. He was an every-week starter for the New York Jets for seven years and came within four yards of having a 1,000 yard season in 1999 but registered just 996. He was a steadily productive pass catcher during his time in New York and throughout his 12 year career.

Hilliard on his new gig at Auburn: It’s really obviously all new. The biggest thing for me is developing relationships. I would hope that there are plenty of people who still know who I am. I may not know them, but that may ease the relationship part of it. I know I’ll have to work my butt off and actually get active in terms of reaching out in terms of communicating, but I’m looking forward to it all.

jeff-schmedding-auburn-football Jeff Schmedding (Photo by AU Athletics)

Jeff Schmedding

New defensive coordinator Schmedding is on a new two-year deal, which is worth $1 million annually. He replaced Derek Mason as Auburn’s defensive coordinator after serving as inside linebackers coach. Mason, of course, went to Oklahoma State.

Schmedding’s contract includes $250,000 in annual base salary, as well as $375,000 each in endorsements and personal appearances payments. He doubled his salary in the new deal.

Schmedding on his defensive philosophy from the spring: We’re talking bout philosophy on defense, people are thinking about structure. Are you a 4-3? A 3-4? We’re a 3-4 personnel, because you have to organize how you meet with players. How are you meeting with those guys and how are you recruiting those guys, more importantly? That is why we recruit and start with 3-4 defense, however we have to be versatile. We’re going to play even fronts, odd fronts, just like everybody else. It depends on who you are playing. 

From a philosophy standpoint, first and foremost, coach has a hardcore foundation that he believes in. We want to be relentless, we want to show up in your dreams. We talk about that relentless effort. We talk about stopping the run, then you earn the right to pressure and confuse the quarterback. It’s a pre and post snap attack on the quarterback. This spring, we’re trying to improve our pre-snap presentations and not always being in that when the ball is snapped. Then we talk about eliminating explosive plays. Then it’s all about the ball. You hear how important takeaways are. We’re actively seeking those things. We’re making that a big deal in practice. Then we talk  about relentless finish, and we define that with pursuit, tackle and finish, which all leads to wins. 

The bottom line is for us to move further faster, and play physical and faster, we spent a ton of time with what we’re looking for. It starts with mentality. To say it and do it are two different things. That’s number one, then it’s fundamentals and technique. If you aren’t fundamentally sound, it doesn’t matter. We’re looking to make sure we all understand those things. Then it’s competition. There’s a lot of guys on defense that can play in multiple spots. You can look at it as a problem, and it is, but it will give us an opportunity to create competition and different looks. Competition is a big deal this spring.

Auburn reveals contract details for coordinators Eric Kiesau Jeff Schmedding Zac Ethridge after promotions (Courtesy of Auburn Athletics)

Eric Kiesau

New offensive coordinator Kiesau (and former receivers coach) will earn $800,000 annually. The deal includes a base salary of $250,000 per year, in addition to $275,000 each in endorsement rights and personal appearances payments. 

Kiesau was an analyst earning $120,000 just a year ago before the firing of then-wideouts coach Cornelius Williams. Prior to joining the Auburn football program, Kiesau spent four seasons at Boise State.

Kiesau on offensive differences from 2021 to 2022: I think there will be a lot of similarities to be honest with you. I think our approach moving forward is to be stet he foundation in the run game. We have some talented backs and we’ll start from there. We’ll grow and see where it goes from there. The foundation will be the run game. Differences? You won’t see a ton. It’ll be more pro-style approach this year, given the depth of the running back position.

christian-robinson-auburn-football Christian Robinson (Photo by AU Athletics)

Christian Robinson

Robinson will earn $525,000 in the first year of his contract before receiving a pay increase to $550,000 for the 2023 season. Robinson’s base salary will be $250,000 annually, while he will receive a combined $275,000 in endorsements and personal appearances this season. That number will jump to $300,000 in the second year of his contract, with a bump of $12,500 for each of those payments.

Robinson on Harsin, Schmedding: I love that he has a process for everything. He’s extremely detailed oriented, great motivator.  Coming into the position group, Coach (Jeff) Schmedding had done a great job building that culture, but Coach Harsin knows what we’re moving towards on the day to day. Big picture, having a plan for where we’re going, that makes it easy as the leader of the room that he has the wide lens and I can focus on the day-to-day details. He’s a great leader. He guides the coaches like we guide the players. That makes him very special. I could tell that from the outside looking in before I ever met him.

roc-bellantoni-football-Marcus-Bragg Roc Bellantoni (Photo by AU Athletics)

Roc Bellantoni

Bellantoni will earn $425,000 annually each of the next two seasons, with a base salary of $250,000 and $87,500 each in supplemental salary via endorsements and personal appearance fees.

jimmy-brumbaugh-football Jimmy Brumbaugh (Photo by AU Athletics)

Jimmy Brumbaugh

Brumbaugh, a former All-SEC defensive lineman at Auburn, will earn $625,000 annually as part of his two-year deal, which includes a base salary of $250,000, as well as $187,500 apiece in endorsements and personal appearance payments.

Brumbaugh on being back at Auburn: It’s amazing. It really still hasn’t set in. I think when you go out there for the spring game, that will bring it back. You’re going to see the fans, the excitement, but coming back to Auburn is special to me because of everything that’s happened to me. All the coaches I’ve had, the different people that have molded me, it’s a special place. You don’t often get to come back and share that. Everybody would love to come back to their alma mater. It’s a dream come true.

Edited by toddc
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  • toddc changed the title to Auburn Assistant Coaches Contracts:Quotes

This would be a pretty good gig if you didn't have to work 100+ hour weeks about 50 weeks of the year. I wouldn't do it, but they love the game more than I do.

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9 hours ago, Mikey said:

This would be a pretty good gig if you didn't have to work 100+ hour weeks about 50 weeks of the year. I wouldn't do it, but they love the game more than I do.

I read a great article yesterday about Chris Petersen and how the grind of coaching deeply affected his mental well being and overall health. One of the things he talked about was the inability to ever have a day off. 

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